I started this blog almost 5 years ago in 2008, but Jimmie and I had been writing newsletters long before that. When we went to Ghana on our first foreign campaign together in 1983 Jimmie reported to the congregation that sent us. When Jimmie went back alone in 1985, he reported again. But after our move to American Samoa in early 1987 we began a monthly newsletter together. Those newsletters started again when Jimmie and I joined Truth for the World. When I became office manager there I also wrote the monthly news blurb on the donation receipts plus started a quarterly newsletter from the TFTW secretaries to our supporters. Now I provide a portion of the monthly IBTM newsletter, The Seeker. So in the last 26 years I estimate that I have written more than 500 articles.
And with every one of them there was a constant rule from Jimmie to always keep it positive.
Positive. Jimmie always believed that newsletters and blogs were no place to complain. Therefore, we didn't write about the really hard times unless we could do it with a smile, like when the hurricane in Samoa left us without power for a month and we had to take showers in the rain. We didn't mention the super scary times - such as when a man stuck a shotgun in Jimmie's face demanding he stop teaching the Gospel - until long after when we could do so calmly. We didn't talk about the heartache of seeing good works destroyed, or the frustration of dealing with deceitful people. And we didn't mention the personal attacks that seem to come just because you are trying hard to stay firm on God's Word or the nasty emails even as Jimmie was dying.
Perhaps that is why writing on this blog has been so difficult lately. Especially today. Today it has been 6 months since Jimmie died.
But even as hard as these last 6 months have been, there have still been bright spots, things I can be positive about. I have been able to continue the Internet portion of the mission work with IBTM that Jimmie did not want to die with him, and it continues to grow at an amazing rate. In the days since his death almost 40,000 visits have been made to the websites for folks to read the materials there. Approximately 2,500 new students have enrolled in the Bible correspondence courses to study God's Word. And at least 5 of our students became New Testament Christians. Per Jimmie's wishes, I am working on relocating closer to my 2 adorable grandsons, and their parents, of course. And those grandsons continue to be a delight. Cole is climbing trees and making new friends, while Jasper is crawling and laughing and trying to talk.
I wish Jimmie could enjoy these things with me, but I will have to be content in the knowledge that he is an important reason why they are happening.